Shire faces extinction

Shire of Kalamunda president Sue Bilich and CEO Rhonda Hardy urge residents to act fast and make their views heard before the March 13 cutoff date. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d415064
Shire of Kalamunda president Sue Bilich and CEO Rhonda Hardy urge residents to act fast and make their views heard before the March 13 cutoff date. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d415064

Shire President Sue Bilich said the community was ‘strongly encouraged’ to make submissions to the Local Government Advisory Board, ‘demanding’ it to ‘reject any takeover using a boundary adjustment that would abolish Kalamunda’.

The last ditch effort to save the Shire came after the Minister submitted his preferred options to halve the number of Perth metropolitan councils, including abolishing the Shire of Kalamunda and making the area part of the City of Belmont.

The State Government will use a legal loophole in the Local Government Act to push through the proposals.

It was previously thought amalgamations could be vetoed by a poll of residents, but Mr Simpson revealed there needed to be more than two councils involved in a merger to force a vote.

Ms Bilich said ratepayers had to act fast to prevent Kalamunda being swallowed up.

‘We ask our community to demand the wards in the new entity be based on a one vote one value democratic voting systems,’ she said.

‘This is the only way that the residents of Kalamunda will have fair representation in a new local government.

‘There is a very short window of opportunity for residents to have their say, which is also very concerning.’

The submission cutoff date is March 13.

Forrestfield Residents’ Association president Rita Mahony said residents were uninformed.

‘There is not enough information available (from the State Government) that gets into the nitty gritty,’ she said.

‘People need to know how this will affect them ” will they be better off or worse off?’

Mrs Mahony said the association preferred not to amalgamate. She said she envisioned many disruptions if there was to be a takeover and the future of facilities was up in the air.

Kalamunda Chamber of Commerce executive officer Mandy Skeates said it was too early for the chamber to speculate on the most likely outcome.

“The Kalamunda Chamber will continue to advocate for small businesses within the Shire and will work with local government to be actively involved in the input and advancement of unified business strategies,” she said.